The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

The Beginning of Sorrows

Art Sadlier

From Sound the Trumpet!, January 2014

In speaking about the end times at the close of this dispensation, Jesus describes events which will take place. He describes events which take place over the entire seven year period and He speaks about the signs that will precede that awful time.

When asked about the signs that would precede His second coming in power and glory to set up the kingdom, Jesus gave some beginning signs. These beginning signs will long precede His second coming in power and glory and even precede His coming to the sky to call the church home. These then are warning signs that believers can recognize and know that the rapture is near. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (I Thessalonians 5:4)

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25) The writer clearly indicates that there will someday arise a generation which will see the signs of the Lord's soon coming. That generation is our generation.

"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." (Matthew 24: 33) The second coming in not near when the beginning signs are given but the rapture is.

In Matthew 24:8 He refers to the beginning signs, "All these are the beginning of sorrows." The word used here for sorrow literally refers to a woman experiencing birth pains. As with a woman in labour there are beginning pains and then later the intense pain of child birth comes. The tribulation period will be a period intense suffering and excruciating pain as billions suffer and die from the poured out wrath of God.

The beginning birth pains come sometime before the baby is born, in like manner there will be a period before the tribulation begins in which there will be a foretaste of that which is to come. We are living in that period now.

The beginning signs are listed in Matthew 24:5-7.

Verse 5, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." There never has been an hour in all of history when so many have come preaching in the name of Christ and yet are pouring out deception. We live in a unique hour; an hour when the world is deluged with false teachers who pour out there messages on the whole world via TV, the Internet and the printed page. Wolves in sheep's clothing, who preach truth, and yet use it to insert error to lead multitudes astray. Insincere, self-centered hearts that are easily led astray is a mark of our generation.

In verse 6, our Lord refers to "wars and rumours of wars." There have always been wars but today an unprecedented number of major wars are on the horizon. There are rumours of war between China and Japan, China and the US, China and India, China and Indonesia and China and Taiwan. There is also the potential for war between Pakistan and India, between Saudi Arabia and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. There is now also the potential for wars in Africa. Beside all of these there is the multi-faceted potential for war against Israel by many of her surrounding neighbours. Never has there been such potential for so many wars. We live in the hour Jesus warned us of.

In verse 7 we read about "Famines, pestilences (pandemics) and earthquakes, in divers (many) places."

We have unprecedented potential for famines with the threat of climate change resulting in severe droughts and with the threat of radioactive contamination. Storms and extreme weather are also unprecedented. Never have so many disastrous storms and extreme weather caused so much damage in such a relatively short period of time.

We seem to be teetering on the threshold of monstrous pandemics. Medical professionals are sounding constant warning of disaster on the near horizon. We now have viruses that are resistant to drugs and cannot be treated. We are told that it is not if but when these untreatable pandemics sweep over the world killing millions.

Other signs warn of solar storms, EMP attacks and cyber-attacks that could take down Hydro grids. These all have the potential to turn a modern world into third world conditions.

Our world is also facing the threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan or elsewhere. Such a meltdown would be catastrophic for our world. Radiation levels on the California coast are 500 times higher since the nuclear problems in Fukushima Japan.

Earthquakes are escalating both in numbers and in intensity. It is amazing how the world manages to close its eyes to this potential catastrophe.

Scientists have warned for some time of a potential disastrous tsunami from the Canary Islands. The Island of La Palma has a fissure of several feet wide in the mountain, which could, as the result of an earthquake send 100 cubic miles of rock plunging a mile down to the ocean floor. Energy released by such a large-volume landslide would create a mega-tsunami. Within minutes the coast of Africa would be hit by a deluge of water over 330 feet high. The city of Casablanca, Morocco would be wiped off the map, and almost the entire population of Western Sahara would be swallowed up by the Atlantic Ocean.

Europe would be impacted within a couple of hours. Cities in Spain and Portugal would see wave heights reaching 120 feet. After four hours it would reach Britain sending water up the Thames River and flooding London with 20 feet of water. The low lying countries of the Netherlands and Belgium would see vast tracks of land swallowed up by the seismic waves.

The tsunami would send a wave crossing the Atlantic, a wave that would be 80 to 120 feet high travelling at 500 miles per hour. This wave would keep coming inland for 15 minutes. The entire east coast of the US and Canada would be obliterated. Recent seismic activity in the Canary Islands is a cause for concern.

The beginning signs are everywhere but as in Noah's day the warnings are going unheard and unheeded. Though these warnings are coming from secular sources, God is speaking but no one is listening.

Super volcanoes are being identified, with the scientists declaring that they have the potential to wipe-out millions of people. We are told by scientists that the super volcano in Yellowstone Park which is now ominously stirring has the potential wipe America out. It has the potential to layer 10 feet of ash over an area a thousand miles from Yellowstone. I repeat; these are statements by secular scientists.

Today volcanic activity is on the rise all around the world. Scientists are warning that a large series of volcanic eruptions could freeze the planet. Some of these things have happened in the past but never so many with so much intensity in such a short interval of time.

The sign of the last days that Jesus spoke of most often is sign of apathy. Jesus said that as the days draw nearer there would be great apathy concerning the warnings given. Jesus repeatedly warned men to watch! Today, the more the signs increase the greater the apathy to them becomes. Even among many believers there is an indifference to the lateness of the hour.

These are warning signs that are sent to signal the coming tribulation period, telling us that what Jesus foretold is about to happen. The world can and does ignore the warnings but the believer needs to be alert and prepare his or her heart for the trumpet to sound in the near future.

God is saying to this generation, “Prepare for the coming ‘Day of the Lord.’”

What is next for this world?

1.  World tensions will continue to build.

Terrorism will continue to build, clashes between Israel and Islam, threat of a nuclear Iran, threat of nuclear jihad, oil supplies in jeopardy and major wars, perhaps between China and Japan. This will ultimately lead the world to cry out for peace and security and disarmament.

2. Jesus will come suddenly, without warning to take His bride home to heaven.

All the unbelievers will be left on the earth. It will be a world without the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit, evil will finally be revealed for what is, it will be a world with unrestrained evil.

3. The United States will suddenly become insignificant in world affairs.

How that will happen we do not know. We do know that there are at least a dozen scenarios now in place that have the potential to destroy America. After the rapture Antichrist will be the pretend defender of Israel instead of America.

4. Out of the chaos and confusion Antichrist will miraculously arise. He will spring up in Europe and sign a great world-wide peace treaty. Euphoria will sweep the world! There will be a brief period of world-wide peace.

5. The world-wide utopia will not last long. Russia and Iran with other Muslim allies will come against Israel to destroy her. God will send fire from heaven to all but eliminate Russia, Iran and their Muslim allies. With Russia, Iran and Islam off the scene along with America, Antichrist will fill the vacuum and establish his revived Roman Empire.

6. The great tribulation will break-out with great darkness, disaster and destruction.

At least two thirds of the earth's population will die in the judgment of God. Two thirds of all Jews will die as Antichrist destroys everyone that gets in his way.

7. Jesus will come in great power and glory to rescue and redeem Israel.

He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem and establish the millennial kingdom. His reign will bring peace, prosperity and blessing upon the whole earth. What is next for you personally? Are you ready to face the future? Are you saved? Will you die in the terrible tribulation period? Will you be cast into hell at the sheep and goat judgment as Jesus assumes the throne of David in Jerusalem?

Listen to the Word of God:

• "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

• "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the   wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3: 36)

• "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

• "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

If you are not saved you need to flee from the wrath to come. The only safety is to be found is in Christ. Bow your head in contrition, acknowledge your sin and ask Christ to save, and He will.

What about you believer?

Have you been obedient to the Lord's command to be baptized? Have you put away all known sin in your life? Have you surrendered your life to the control of the Holy Spirit? Are you supporting a Bible-teaching, Christ loving church? Are you serving the Lord as best you can? Are you looking for and are you ready for the coming of Christ?

Look up for your redemption is drawing near!

A shout! A trumpet note!

A glorious presence in the azure sky!

A gasp, a thrill of joy,

And we are with him in the twinkling of an eye.

A glance! An upward look!

Caught up to be with Christ forever more!

The dead alive! The living glorified!

Fulfilled are all His promises that came before.

His face! His joy supreme!

Our souls find rapture only at His feet!

Blameless! Without a spot!

We enter into Heaven’s joy complete.

Strike harps, oh sound His praise,

We know Him as we never knew before!

God’s love! God’s matchless grace!

Twill take eternity to tell, while we adore.